Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Rhett Miller: Rhett Miller [Shout! Factory, 2009]
Although it's hard to imagine this album taking on the inevitability of, for instance, The Believer, bear in mind that Miller's songs have a way of kicking in bigger over a longer haul than any reviewer can give him or any skeptic will. On his third solo album, the thematic focus is intense enough to ignite kindling. All but a few songs deal with differing facets of a tempestuous permanent relationship, and that includes the one where a matriarch with 49 strong male grandchildren turns 100 on her steel-clad colony planet in the year 2106. It's called "Happy Birthday Don't Die," and I'm going to assume it's about Miller's daughter until he tells me to stop. A-